Smartwatch segment:

Pebble Time Steel: Display dim but superb battery life

The dim e-paper display makes it difficult to read the watch unless you are outdoors. Activating the backlight needs a vigorous twist of the wrist.
The dim e-paper display makes it difficult to read the watch unless you are outdoors. Activating the backlight needs a vigorous twist of the wrist.PHOTO: PEBBLE

The Pebble Time and the Pebble Time Steel are very similar - the latter has a stainless steel case.

Both Pebbles feature a 1.25-inch (144 x 168 pixels) always-on, e-paper display with 64 colours.

The cheaper Pebble Time ($329) is available in red, black and white models. The Pebble Time Steel, which is not sold in Singapore yet, comes in gold, gunmetal and silver. I reviewed the gold version.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: US$249.99 (S$353), available from www.pebble.com

    CASE MATERIAL: Stainless steel

    COMPATIBILITY: Android 4.3 or higher and iOS 8 or higher

    WEIGHT: 62.3g (with leather strap)

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 3/5

    DESIGN: 3/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 5/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 3/5

Pressing the top right button toggles through past events, while the top left button allows you to scroll through future events. The events can include appointments, missed calls, Instagram posts, the weather, and sunrise and sunset timings.

Notifications appear with vibrations. Setting the watch to "Quiet Time" prevents notifications from showing. The Pebble Time OS offers a myriad of watch face designs, as well as apps and games that you can download.

My quibble with the Time Steel is its dim e-paper display, which is difficult to read unless you are outdoors and in bright sunlight. To activate the backlight, you have to twist your wrist quite vigorously.

The Time Steel is water-resistant to 30m depth, but the leather strap is not water-friendly. You can replace this with a standard 22mm rubber watch strap that is more suitable for swimming.

Battery life is superb for a smartwatch, lasting nearly a week before it needs recharging.

Trevor Tan

  • Verdict: The Pebble Time Steel is a smartwatch without bells and whistles like GPS or heart-rate sensor, but it has good water-resistance and long battery life.

Smartwatch segment

Tag Heuer Carrera Connected: Best-looking luxury watch

Guess Connect: A beauty with some smart features

Huawei Watch: Traditionalists' favourite, with minimalist design

Motorola Moto 360 (2nd Gen): Same good looks with several refinements

Asus ZenWatch 2: Affordable price and sensitive screen

Samsung Gear S2 Classic: Wins on looks but let down by its OS

Apple Watch: Intuitive design, with flexible features

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 23, 2015, with the headline 'Display dim but superb battery life'. Print Edition | Subscribe